Posted on Friday, 19-08-2011
Haiti - Haitians left homeless by the January 2010 earthquake continue to leave the displacement camps in significant numbers, with the camp population now below 600,000 for the first time since the January 2010 earthquake.
The IOM Haiti Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), prepared in support of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) group, estimates that the camp population was approximately 594,800 at the end of July 2011. This represents a decline of some 6 per cent from the previous month (June 2011).
Notwithstanding the drop in the numbers, departures from camps have slowed compared with the May 2011 DTM report, indicating that solutions are becoming more difficult to find for those displaced.
"In the last six months, the pace of exit from camps has slowed down considerably and most of those now in camps were renters before the quake," said Luca Dall'Oglio, IOM Haiti Chief of Mission. "Also, the number of former camp residents who departed without appropriate housing remains unacceptably high and they were driven out primarily by push factors such as poor living conditions in camp, rain, insecurity, crime, and evictions."
Along with the decrease in the camp population, IOM also reports a corresponding decrease in the number of camps. For the first time, estimates for the total number of camps have fallen below 1,000. According to IOM data, there are now 894 occupied settlements.
Part of the decline in the camp population can be attributed to deteriorating living conditions, insecurity and forced evictions of which a total of 348 cases have been identified since July 2010.
IOM found that the closure of 27 of the 107 displacement sites during the latest assessment period was as a result of evictions. These 27 sites account for approximately 7,846 of the almost 40,000 individuals who have left the camps since June 2011.
The new IOM report comes at a time when many camp management agencies have withdrawn or reduced their services. Although the transition to self-management has shown some success, there is growing pressure to deliver housing solutions for the internally displaced.
The Haitian government has developed a comprehensive proposal that would lead to the closure of six of the largest camps and rehabilitate 16 return communities.
With nearly 600,000 internally displaced persons still in camps, the scale of Haiti's homeless problem remains daunting.
The full DTM report is available at www.cccmhaiti.info and www.iomhaiti.com
For more information, please contact:
Tel: + 509 3702 5066
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